Review

Manu WorldStar’s debut, Molimo, is soul-food at its most rhythmic

Breakout artist Manu WorldStar has just dropped his much anticipated debut album Molimo amidst the chart-topping success of recent singles “Nalingi”, “Future Plan” and “Rent” – solidifying himself as one of the most promising up-and-coming artists of 2020. 

Meaning “my spirit” in Manu’s mother-tongue, the name Molimo reflects how his deepest emotions come not from his mind, but from his spirit – and it seems that’s where the music is coming from too. Blending modern African sound with an Afro-pop beat that’s soulful and straight-up groovy, Manu welcomes rhythmic composition with no inhibition. 

Lead single “Choko” seems to be the best example of this eclectic writing style, running on a catchy hook that’s all about believing in what you want in life and going after it. Coming from a dark place in Manu’s past, “Choko” led him to the revelation he needed to finish Molimo, and stands tall as the album’s best single by far. 

However, straying from typical South African hip hop, title track “Molimo” clashes with the contemporary, melody-heavy musings of tracks like “Celebrate” and “Wanderlust”, making for a bit of a confusing journey from start to finish. 

Still Molimo feeds the soul, and even if it is hard to tell where Manu’s sound really fits best in between all his different stylistic influences, they certainly make for an excitingly diverse debut.